Main Street

File / The Outlook

Shoppers amble down Main Street in Alexander City last November.

The U.S. Census Bureau released its long-awaited 2020 redistricting data Thursday, giving an up-to-date count on America's population, voting-age population and racial demographics at the local level.

The release shows that Tallapoosa and Coosa counties both declined in population from the 2010 census, following a nationwide trend in population decline for counties with fewer than 50,000 residents. Just over half of U.S. counties declined in population since 2010, despite an overall gain in population driven by growth in metro areas.

But while America's population has increased, its 10-year growth rate has slowed to a level not seen since the 1930s.

Thursday's data release, delayed by the COVID-19 pandemic, also marks the beginning of the redistricting process in the majority of U.S. states, where the data will be used to redraw the lines of state legislative and congressional districts. In Alabama those districts are determined by both chambers of the state legislature.

Here's a closer look at the local data:

Tallapoosa County

Tallapoosa County's population held relatively steady in the past decade with only a 0.7% decrease, a difference of about 300 residents. Lake Martin's vacation homeowners were not included in that count, unless they considered Tallapoosa County their primary residence.

Tallapoosa County Population 
 2010 2020
 41,616 41,313

Thursday's release also revealed an overall decline in white population for the first time in U.S. Census history, counteracted by unprecedented growth in its multiracial population.

Similarly, Tallapoosa County fell about one percentage point each in its white and Black or African American categories but saw the most growth in the two or more races category.

 Tallapoosa County Racial Breakdown
  2010 2020
White 69.9% 68.9%
Black/African American 26.6% 25.2%
American Indian/Alaska Native 0.3% 0.3%
Asian 0.5% 0.5%
Pacific Islander  0% 0%
Some other race 1.7% 1.6%
Two or more races 1% 3.4%
Hispanic/Latino (of any race) 2.5% 2.8%

Coosa County

Coosa County managed to maintain a five-digit headcount despite losing 10% of its population since 2010.

Coosa County Population 
 2010 2020
11,539 10,387

The county's racial demographics changed along somewhat similar lines as Tallapoosa County, with the most growth in the two or more races category. Fewer than 10 residents are Asian.

 Coosa County Racial Breakdown
  2010 2020
White 66.3% 65.7%
Black/African American 31% 29%
American Indian/Alaska Native 0.3% 0.3%
Asian 0.1% 0.1%
Pacific Islander  0.1% 0%
Some other race 1.2% 1.6%
Two or more races 0.9% 3.4%
Hispanic/Latino (of any race) 2% 1.9%

Also included in the redistricting data is percentage of housing units occupied, excluding second or vacation homes, dormitories, barracks, hotels, quarters in institutions (e.g. prisons) and units marked as condemned. Only 76.6% of housing units in Tallapoosa County and 74.2% in Coosa County were considered occupied in 2020, compared with 90.3% nationwide.

Final Census results, including over- and undercount estimates, won't be available until 2022. 

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